Dirty Dozen part 1: Taxpayers should be on the lookout for these scams

Here is the recap of the first six scams in this years Dirty Dozen

Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.  The IRS will never initiate contact with a taxpayer through email about a tax bill, refund, or Economic Impact payment.  Don't click on links claiming to be the IRS.

Fake charities: Criminals frequently target natural disasters and other situations, such as COVID-19, by setting up fake charities to steal from well-intentioned people triying to help in times of need.  Frauduletn schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by phone, text, social media, email or in person using a variety of tactics.

Threatening impersonator phone calls:  IRS impersonation scams come in many forms.  A common one remains fake threatening phone calls from a criminal claiming to be with IRS.  The agency will never threaten a taxpayer or surprise them with a demand for immediate payment.  Scam phone calls include those threatening arrest, deportation or license revocation if the victim doesn't pay a fake tax bill.

Social media scams:  Taxpayers need to protect themselves against social media scams, which frequently use events such as COVID-19 to try tricking people.  Thses include emails where scammers impersonate someone's family, friends or co-workers.

Economic Impact Payment or refund theft: This year criminals turned therir attention to stealing Economic Impact Payments.  Many of these scams are identity theft-related.  Criminas file false tax returns or supply false information to the IRS to divert refunds to wrong addresses or bank accounts.

Senior fraud: Senior citizens, their friends and family need to be on alert for tax scams targeting older taxpayers.  Their growing comfort with technoloty, including social media, gives scammers another means of taking advantage of them.